December 18, 2013

December 18

December 18, 2013:  Wednesday, 3rd week of Advent


Wordle: Readings 12-18-13
  • Jer 23:5-8  I'll raise up a righteous shoot to David, a king to govern wisely, “The Lord our justice.”  Judah shall be saved.
  • Ps 72:1-2, 12-13, 18-19  "Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever."  The king shall govern with justice, rescuing the poor.
  • Mt 1:18-25  Mary was found with child; Joseph decided to divorce her quietly.   Angel:  “Joseph, take Mary into your home; child was conceived through the Spirit and will save.”  She bore a son; he named him Jesus.
Pope Francis
  • Audience:  The Nativity overcomes uncertainty and pessimism.  God is with us, loves us, and trusts us!  God willed to share our human condition and become one of us in Jesus, in a world with conflicts, wickedness, poverty, and war.  God humbles himself; so must we and serve others.  Whoever feeds, visits, or loves one of the smallest of people does it for the Son of God.  We're called to become like God: humble, close to others, attentive to their needs.  Mary, help us see Jesus' face in others and bring light, joy, and peace.
A people of many faces:  People need and live in society; we relate to the world in our own culture.  God’s gift becomes flesh in the recipients’ culture, so Christian life is expressed in different ways.  
When a community receives the message of salvation, the Gospel transforms its culture.  In the customs of an evangelized people, the Spirit shows new aspects of revelation and gives the Church a new face.  Every culture offers positive values and forms to enrich how the Gospel is preached, understood, and lived. 
Cultural diversity doesn’t threaten Church unity; the Spirit brings unity in harmony, not uniformity.  A monocultural Christianity wouldn’t do justice to the Incarnation.  The Gospel is transcultural, so we shouldn’t impose a specific form.  The message has cultural dress, but let’s not exalt ours, beautiful as it may be.  Don’t limit the mystery of our redemption to one culture’s understanding and expression.  (3.I, 115-118, pp. 92-96)
    •  The Davidic dynasty was corrupt, but Jeremiah trusted God to raise up a righteous shoot.  Mary was asked to assume great risk, but she trusted God's promise.  Joseph was troubled but believed the angel's message.  Am I ready to believe God when perplexed?
    • Creighton:  We can be discouraged and afraid, but in Advent we can open our hearts to Jesus' coming as light into darkness and so face challenges with hope.  Do I hear God tell me I'm loved, forgiven, not alone?
    • Please send me music suggestions, especially for the Christmas season!  I welcome links to audio, video, sheet music, and/or lyrics, and I'm happy to give you credit.

    • Tree pin:  God will raise up righteous shoot (1st reading)
    • "Peace sign" tie bar:  fullness of peace shall flourish (psalm) [see yesterday for  "justice" pin]
    • Crown of Claddagh tie pin:  messianic king (1st reading, psalm)
    • Angel pin:  Gabriel (gospel)
    • "Keyboard with dove" tie pin:  Angel:  "child was conceived through the Holy Spirit" (gospel)
    • "Ho ho ho" tie:  season and Gospel joy
    • Purple shirt:  Advent season
    • Christmas pin (see yesterday for legend):  Nativity Novena (subseason)
    • Snowflakes on suspenders:  winter weather (somewhere :-)
    Dress your life!

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